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Sudbury head coach tells players to get their heads back up ahead of London 1 North trip to Harpenden

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Neil Dachtler has told his players to get their heads back up after a disappointing defeat at Shelford before they travel to face Harpenden at Redbourn Lane on Saturday (3pm), writes Ken Watkins.

While Sudbury were losing 35-18 at the Davey Field, a margin which flattered the hosts as they completed a London 1 North double, Harpenden dealt a blow to Colchester’s promotion hopes with a 29-24 away victory.

Sudbury conceded seven penalties in their own half, six converted by Lewis Cracknell.

RUGBY - Sudbury v Luton..Pictured: ...PICTURE: Mecha Morton... .. (26258209)
RUGBY - Sudbury v Luton..Pictured: ...PICTURE: Mecha Morton... .. (26258209)

“You can’t compete with that,” Dachtler said. “That’s doing yourself in. Without that on the board we are somewhere close.

“Whether it’s frustration in our own heads, or whether we are not listening to what the referee is saying, when we lose it’s down to our silly mistakes.

“We’ve had a lot of ball in the last few games. While we’ve got the ball going forward we don’t give away penalties, but not when we are going backwards.

“Keep the ball and we’ll keep the ref as well. We are our own worst enemy.

“We’ve got to get our heads back up because next week will be more of the same. Harpenden have beaten Colchester, so they’re on a roll.”

Dachtler felt the scoreline flattered Shelford.

“It ran away at the end, but we have got to stop that,” he said.

“Whenever we lose we let it run away from us. We’ve got to be bigger and stronger than that.

“We carried a few knocks and niggles, but that’s no excuse.

“It’s not easy coming here. It’s not easy going anywhere because every team knows when we turn up and play well we can turn it on, and they’ve got to stop us doing that.

“Shelford did that today. They worked really hard on their defence, and we never hit the gain line at all.

“We knew exactly how they were going to play. We analysed it on video.

“They played exactly as we knew they would, and if you let them run, they will run. We should have shut them down.

“But there’s a long way to go, and we are looking for performances.

“We want to come away from a game saying we played well, whether we win or lose.”

Saturday’s defeat leaves Datchler’s charges eighth in the London 1 North table, with seven wins, seven defeats and one draw so far.